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New 2011 Fuel Efficiency Standards Could Cost Auto Industry $1.5 Billion

The U.S. Department of Transportation has set new fuel efficiency standards for automobiles in the United States, beginning with the 2011 model year. Automakers will be required to follow a fleet-wide average fuel efficiency of 27.3 miles per gallon (mpg), with cars coming in at 30.2 mpg and light trucks at 24.1 mpg. "These standards are important steps in the nation's quest to achieve energy independence and bring more fuel efficient vehicles to American families," says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Detroit News reports that the new standards will cost the auto industry up to $1.5 billion to implement and that the cost will be passed back to consumers with an average price increase of $64 per passenger car and $126 per light truck. The News says the new standards subject nearly every vehicle under 10,000 pounds to the requirement; under prior rules most vehicles over 8,500 pounds were exempt from fuel efficiency regulations.

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